Earlier in the year, Defra introduced new rules for farmers and landowners in an effort to reduce water pollution by preventing manure, fertiliser and soil reaching watercourses.

So, as we begin to anticipate increased levels of rainfall, here is a summary of the key points:
1. Application of all manures and fertilisers must be planned in advance to meet soil and crop nutrient needs and not exceed these levels and take into account where there is significant risk
2. Organic manures must not be stored within 10m of fresh or coastal waters; within 50m of a spring, well or borehole
3. Manures and fertilisers must not be applied if the soil is waterlogged, flooded, snow covered or has been frozen for more than 12 hours in the previous 24 hours
4. Manures must not be applied within 50m of a spring, well or borehole, or 10m of fresh or coastal waters, except if precision equipment is used, then a 6m zone applies.
5. Manufactured fertiliser must not be applied within 2m’s of inland freshwaters or coastal waters
6. Take precautions to prevent significant soil erosion and runoff from the application of manures and fertilisers, land management and cultivation practices, as well as poaching by livestock
7. Any land within 5m’s of inland freshwaters and coastal waters must be protected from significant soil erosion by preventing poaching by livestock
8. Livestock feeders must not be positioned within 10m of any inland fresh or coastal waters, 50m of a spring, well or borehole